FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Hogs (2-6, 0-5 SEC) practiced for about 90 minutes on Tuesday afternoon as they prepared for their road game against conference foe, Ole Miss (3-5, 1-4 SEC). The Razorbacks used their workout time to correct mistakes from last weekend’s game and improve fundamentals.
“We came out and practiced real hard today,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “I’m real pleased with their attitude. In this man’s game it’s hard when things aren’t going just right and you appreciate the guys coming out to work hard and trying to get better and correct those little things that will make a difference in the ball game.”
Specifically, Arkansas concentrated on different short yardage situations. Freshman Jonathan Luigs and junior Jeremy Harrell were given more snaps, because senior center Kyle Roper and junior offensive guard Stephen Parker have been banged up over the past couple weeks and Nutt is trying to let them rest.
“Today we stressed hanging on to the block, stepping right and hitting the hole with authority and being able to get that yard that’s been lacking,” Nutt said. “Kyle Roper and Stephen Parker are really beat up right now. They’re fighting through it, but Jeremy Harrell is stepping up. Jonathan Luigs has been a swing guy for us all year long, so we moved him to center. If something were to happen, then Jeremy Harrell would have to go (in place of Parker). I think Kyle and Stephen be there by Saturday, but you don’t know how full speed they will be.”
Those Hogs will also be facing a tough Ole Miss defense. The Rebels are led by junior linebacker Patrick Willis who is No.1 in the Southeastern Conference with a total of 90 tackles and an average of 12.9.
“This defense is probably one of the best we’ve seen so far,” Nutt said. “You can see why when you look at (McKinley) Boykin, (Jayme) Mitchell and (Michael) Bozman. They are familiar names and it seems like they’ve been there forever. Their linebackers look big and strong. Patrick Willis and those guys are very physical. This is a tough team that hasn’t given up very many points.”
The Rebels and Razorbacks will face each other on Nov. 12 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the game will not be televised.